Board votes to retain SLHS building class

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Storm Lake High School Building & Trades class has received a reprieve - for the second time in less than a year.

The program is completing a home building project on the last lot it has available in an agreement with the city. Discussion has touched on the prospect of folding the program into the local Habitat for Humanity program so students could still learn about construction skills, but no longer be able to earn class credits or progress toward an Iowa Central Community College degree as the class now offers.

The school board was faced with deciding the fate of the program this week, after a meeting between district leaders and the class instructor last Friday.

A year ago, with the former instructor retiring and student numbers waning, the district considered ending the program, but opted to try a new hire and obtained a new instructor just in time for the school year. The new instructor has done so well that it clearly swayed the board. Under the new teacher, more students are interested and it looks like the program will start to grow. Even during Easter school break, students and instructor wanted to keep working, and in the construction zone, they not only have cleaned up around the building lot, but for other homes in the area.

its too good of a program to let go, board member Dave Skibsted said.

Its a much different discussion than we were having a year ago, board member Erika Dierking added.

The board voted unanimously to continue the program, knowing that it will mean having to locate a lot and purchase it for next school years home construction.